Terry Bardoff wishes to be treated “like any other umpire in the Park League,” and that’s the way it has been and is going to be as far as team managers are concerned.
Be that as it may, there is an inescapable difference, because Bardoff is the first woman umpire in the history of the 51-year-old league. All hands are agreed that there is no sound reason why it hasn’t happened sooner, but that’s the way it is. So, Bardoff is, in a sense, a trail blazer, although she doesn’t regard herself as such.
“I just feel that I am an experienced umpire assigned to do a job which I shall perform to the best of my ability,” Bardoff said. “I don’t know whether this will have any effect on other women being given work in the league or not. I’m just happy to be here myself.”
Bardoff is in the league on the recommendation of umpire-in- chief Walt Mortimer, a longtime Park League slugger of distinction before taking up umpiring tools. Called upon by Bob Curran, the Parks Department’s new league coordinator, to recruit umpires, Mortimer promptly included Bardoff on his list.
“I had seen her handle high school games on several occasions and was favorably impressed with her work,” Mortimer said. “So, I called her with the offer, and she was pleased to accept.”
Bardoff worked on the bases on her first assignment in the league, and had her first behind-the-plate duty in the Great Scott- Mahoney game (Great Scott, 10-7) at Cleveland Circle on June 1.
“An exciting game between two spirited rivals, and she handled it very well,” Mortimer said. “No hesitation. There were called third strikes on five batters. No squawks.”
“I like her work,” said Great Scott manager John Bruno. “She isbusinesslike, keeps the game moving, and that’s important when we are trying to get in as many innings as possible in twilight ball.”
Although this is her Park League debut, Bardoff has been umpiring high school boys’ games and American Legion games for 11 years.
She played softball at Walpole High for three years, but, in her senior year, decided umpiring was what she wanted and she concentrated on it. She did some umpiring during her college years at Bridgewater State, and she attended Ted Williams’ umpiring school in Lakeville during the summer for specialized training.
“I can’t exaggerate on how valuable that training was to me,” she said.
Bardoff became a member of the South Shore Umpires Assn. after graduatingfrom college, but later transferred to the Eastern New England Umpires Assn. That she is held in high esteem by her peers is evident since she has been elected to the board of governors of that organization.
During the current school season, Bardoff has been umpiring in the Bay State League and the Suburban League, and soon will be adding Legion assignments to her schedule.
Her umpiring work makes sports a year-round thing for Bardoff. She is a phys ed teacher at Walpole High, where she also coaches varsity gymnastics and freshman field hockey.
Copyright © 1981 Boston Globe, all rights reserved. Written by Art Ballou.